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Thread: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

  1. #21

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    There are 3 issues with inkjet printing which keep coming back to bite. Since I set up my printer for Piezography a few years ago, things may have improved but I wouldn't know since the topic requires regular investigation.

    1) Linearization/calibration
    2) Image permanence
    3) Non-standard lighting

    1) If we knew a really good way of linearization using standard OEM inks and printer drivers... I have not seen prints from HP printers that have their own built-in profiling sensors. Perhaps they have solved the issue, even with grayscale. Anybody know ?
    That is already implemented from HP Z3100 and on
    Printer linearizes each of 11 ink channel on demand by printing and then automatically measuring a special built-in color chart. It is called Color Calibration in their menu. It is recommended to perform that calibration with each new roll of paper for consistency of results. It also provides consistency of results on the same paper between different machines.
    Color Calibration (Ink channel linearization) is a routine that is different from paper profiling.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    2) The most permanent inkjet images I'm aware of are made with pure carbon pigments, but carbon has a warm color that doesn't suit all images. Besides, inkjet papers fade and degrade. It's been a while since I've studied the Aardenburg Imaging test results. There's probably a good reason why people use Digital Negatives to make prints with Pt/Pd and other more permanent "alternative" processes. I have made some but many of my photos look pretty lame when printed that way.
    How long do we want our images to last ?
    There are OBA free cotton rag papers out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    3) Images appear differently depending on the color and brightness of the lighting. Galleries don't follow standards as far as I know. Bright light probably brings out the depth of an image, but it hastens the degradation.
    Isn't that true for any type of image?


    There are 2 more issues with ink-jet prints on papers with glossy surfaces:

    * Bronzing
    * Gloss differential

    Both are more or less solved in HP Z printers by using the 12th totally transparent ink called Gloss Enhancer. Printer/Driver allows to specify and fine-tune the max amount of that transparent ink depending on the kind of paper. Once the max amount (or limit) is determined and set, the driver intelligently applies the Gloss Enhancer in accordance with the amount of other inks density sprayed to the surface, making the resulting gloss of the entire print surface look uniform. Also helps to make the printed area look evenly glossy with the non-printed area (borders) of the paper surface

  2. #22

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Thanks to all the experts who have been contributing to this thread. I'm going to offer a few thoughts that might be relevant to at least Michael R and JMO, and which the rest of you can take issue with if you want. Bear in mind that I've never made a darkroom print in my life, but almost all of my B&W photos are from scanned 4x5 and 6x7 negatives.

    First of all, I have no children. I've got some nieces and nephews but, frankly, I doubt anyone will care about my photographs when I'm gone. That's reason #1 for not getting too wrapped up in the archival thing. Reason #2 is that, at least as long as I'm alive and functional, I can recreate any print of mine with a press of a button. If something fades, I can just print another copy. All that said, I do have some concern about the possibility of a color shift over time of a B&W photo printed with Epson inks.

    I'm financially comfortable, but so far I've achieved results with both color and B&W photographs "on a budget" that I am very happy with, so I see no reason to change how I operate. Perhaps if I was able to work (in person) with someone like Ken, Richard Boutwell, Jon Cone, etc., I would see the error of my ways, but I'm happily ignorant for now. I use a refurbished Dell computer with Windows 7, purchased for $150, and a disc version of Lightroom 3(?). I occasionally use a defunct PS-like program called Picture Window Pro for a few special things. My monitor has been an old HP CRT monitor, but a friend just gave me an NEC CRT monitor with bigger screen, so I use that now. No calibration. I now have an Imacon Flextight scanner on loan from a friend (the guy who gave me the second printer) who had it on "permanent loan" from another guy, but before that I scanned 4x5 negatives on a Canon scanner that I bought from our own Peter De Smidt for $200. For the size I was printing then (12x15ish) it served me well.

    I basically get something I'm happy with on my monitor and then print it, either in color or B&W using the Epson advanced B&W. The print usually matches what I wanted quite well. I don't fuss about how well it matches the monitor - it's whether or not I like the print that matters. If there is something I don't like, I go back to the digital image and adjust it, print again. I have no beef with how my B&W stuff look using the Epson ink set, but I have time, an extra printer and enough $ to convert to Piezography, so I'm going to give it a try. (Actually, the cost to convert won't be much more than it would be to buy the equivalent volume of ink from Epson.)

    So we'll see how well my laissez faire approach works when I get set up with Piezography - I'll report in. Right now my stuff is waiting on one cartridge that is out of stock before it ships. I am thinking that if I like the results, I would offer to members here the option of buying a print on 8.5x11 at my cost for printing and shipping, if anyone wanted to check it out.

    PS I print on matte paper - I generally use the Freestyle Arista II Fine Art Natural Cotton. Prior to that I used Epson Premium Presentation Matte, but the Arista is less expensive and has a nicer warmth, to my taste. Like everything else described above, the paper is relatively inexpensive and completely satisfactory to me. I used to print on a baryta glossy paper because when I began this adventure I was told that would look the most like a gelatin silver print. Since then my tastes have drifted from Ansel Adams to more Frederick Evans, and I've grown to love prints on a slightly warm matte paper.

    PPS Somewhere on the Piezography or Inkjet Mall sites there is a forum where folks advertise printers for sale, or even for free if you pick up.

    www.greggwaterman.com

  3. #23

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    My pictures that I printed with piezography software and Cone tech ink back 20+ years ago still look good today. I printed on mostly Hahnemuhle photo rag Matt 188gsm and 308 gsm.
    Sometimes used a paper called Cone tech Wells River. If you store them and frame them archival they maintain pretty well. I also used those papers with Epson Ultra chrome ink they also held up well when stored properly. The reflection issues in galleries and shows isn't as serious when I use Matt paper and framed with (I think it's called) non glare plexiglass. Use to order the plexiglass from a place called TC Moulding.

  4. #24
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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Quote Originally Posted by h2oman View Post
    I occasionally use a defunct PS-like program called Picture Window Pro for a few special things....
    Tangential point, but PWP is alive and well:

    https://dl-c.com/Products-PWP8.html

    I use the current version 8.

  5. #25

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    In the spirit of my attitude about the reproducibility of inkjet prints, I don't use mats and glazing anymore - I just frame the prints. I love the lack of glare and slight bit of paper texture. I don't worry that people are used to matted and glazed prints - no one ever bought anything from me that way, so why bother and go to the extra expense!

  6. #26

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Thanks, Oren! Maybe I should upgrade whatever version I have.

  7. #27
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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Quote Originally Posted by h2oman View Post
    Thanks, Oren! Maybe I should upgrade whatever version I have.
    Just a heads-up, since I see you're using older hardware. I believe v8 is 64-bit only, but v7 is also still available for download in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions:

    https://www.dl-c.com/site/downloads/pwp-apps.php

    Now back to our regularly-scheduled programming...

  8. #28

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    Sergey - Thank you for the most helpful information !

    How long we want our images to last, may depend on our artistic aspiration, our intended audience and clients, and our professional integrity. A conscientious collector will likely want to know how long their investment will endure.

    According to Aardenburg Imaging Light Fade Test Results, the HP Designjet Z3100 24", using HP OEM 12-ink Vivera Pigment inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl 320gsm, with no coating or laminate, gets a rating of >200 Megalux hours... that's as good as any combination of printer/paper/ink on the list.

    On the self-calibrating HP printers, have you tried making any images with 128-step grayscale targets (or even 50-step targets) ? Can you recommend someone who prints with one of these, to whom I can send a sample for printing, so that I can compare results ?

  9. #29
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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    I agree, Digi prints or traditional they all look better without a glass filter

    I have a few 22 year old Digi prints, made by consumer Digi camera and early Epson 'Art' printers

    Most likely nobody will ever see them now...

    dust to dust

    Quote Originally Posted by h2oman View Post
    In the spirit of my attitude about the reproducibility of inkjet prints, I don't use mats and glazing anymore - I just frame the prints. I love the lack of glare and slight bit of paper texture. I don't worry that people are used to matted and glazed prints - no one ever bought anything from me that way, so why bother and go to the extra expense!

  10. #30

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    Re: Piezography: Talk me into/out of it

    H20man: Love the simplicity. Folks over at Luminous Landscape have debated the on-going "need" for Piezography given the "improvement" in inkjet printers. The numbers of people who have printed with Piezo and kept at it might not be big - and they aren't for some obvious reasons - cost being # 1, but FWIW, I find that often the availability of tools to push a creative process... actually does just that. Art history is full of artists who found a new way to compound their pigments and achieve "new" results that today we just assume always existed ...because it was so far back. Cone's approach is a road less travelled, but of value IMHO nonetheless - EVEN if all you do is print for yourself. Why not make a photo a thing of beauty? This time of year when the outdoors is less inspiring... a wall hung beauty is worth the trouble... quells the impatience for travel and Spring and a re-start... or at least inspires the "what next?" for when it comes in my case.

    Ken: Okay the EIZO and/or BenQ I think I was looking at was about 20% or less of that price. I think $600 or so starts to bring photo editing into the "do-able" range. Methinks a $2,500 monitor will age, die, and otherwise be superceded in about 3 months... leading to inevitable buyer's remorse ("If only I'd waited..."). I find a problem of hybrid approaches most of us follow is the inevitable creep of tools / technique is probably beyond most artist's budgets in ways the historical upgrade in pigments and brushes unlikely restricted painters. Realistically, photography ain't painting, and its marriage to tech has always limited application in ways more akin to violin players and the limited number of Strads. Somehow the tools often seem to gravitate into the right hands, but the curious thing is how folks with less scratch manage to produce high quality with less $'s through technique alone. In some measure, I've begun to wonder about Digital Negatives and Carbon printing - processes not without their costs... but at least less prone to technological change. Do you have an opinion on that? My self-retort has been that I already have a lot of Cone's approach in hand and it remains do-able. Just curious whether you ventured that way yourself BEFORE settling on the Cone ink process?

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